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May 9, 2023

Busting the Common Myths About Aging and Storing Wine

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Wine bottles stacked in a cellar

Wine has always been associated with sophistication and culture. It’s a perfect addition to any celebration, event or even enjoying a hot tub. However, there is a fair share of myths about how it’s stored and aged over time. It can be tough to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to keeping the drink at its best. In this post, we’re going to bust the most common myths when it comes to aging and storing wine.

Myth #1: Expensive wines are always better than cheaper ones

Truth: While the price tag of a bottle correlates with quality, it’s not the ultimate determinant. Luxury brands can indeed cost a lot – for example, Masseto wine price in Cyprus ranges from a thousand to several thousand euros.

However, there are several approaches that go into determining the price, mainly the region, vintages, grape variety, and fermentation process. That’s why expensive wines might disappoint you if their attributes, such as aroma or body, don’t fit your individual preferences, whereas a cheaper brand might excite your taste buds.

Myth #2: Wine only gets better with age

Truth: While some wines age well, others don’t. The majority of wines available today at stores or online are meant to be consumed within a year. Aging changes the character of the drink, making it an entirely distinct drink compared to the original version. When saving wine, ensure you only store the ones that are expected to age nicely over time – this can be different types of red or white, rose or sparkling, and fortified wines.

Wine bottles collected on a table

Myth #3: Storing wine on its side guarantees the cork won’t dry out

Truth: Although storing wine on its side helps prevent the cork from drying out, this may not always be the case. Screw caps are becoming more popular, but even bottles with cork still require a humid environment for keeping the cork moist. Storing your bottles in a humid location, such as a wine cooler or cellar, will help to avoid cork damage and will prevent the wine from being oxidized.

Myth #4: Champagne should be stored in the refrigerator

Truth: Champagne is stored at cooler temperatures like white wine, but it shouldn’t be kept in the refrigerator for a long time. The absence of humidity will induce the cork to dry out at warm temperatures, and chilling it will keep the drink’s taste fresh.

However, storing your Champagne in a cool, moist setting is the ideal way to preserve the drink’s quality. A wine fridge or a cellar would be the perfect place to store your decent Champagne bottle.

Wine bottles stored on a shelf

Myth #5: Red wine should be served at room temperature

Truth: Most of us believe that red wine should be served at room temperature, which is erroneous. The actual temperature at which you should serve red wine is between 55 °F (ca. 13 °C) to 65 °F (ca. 18 °C), which is much lower than the traditional room temperature.

Hotter temperatures make wines less fruity and more acidic, while cooler temperatures dull the drink’s aroma and taste. Approach your red wine as an artwork that requires perfect conditions to meet its full potential.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve busted the most common myths related to aging and storing wine, you can confidently enjoy your favorite drink without a care in the world. Always remember to store the bottle carefully in a cool, dry place. Never store it on its side unless it has a cork, and ensure it’s not kept in the refrigerator for extended periods.

The most crucial factor for enjoying wine is individual preferences, and that will always be the key. So, don’t be afraid to try something new and keep exploring different types of wines. Cheers!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a Los Angeles-based certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer.

Brianne has educated and entertained over 10,000 people through her in-person and virtual wine tasting experiences.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping people Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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